The Drowsy Chaperone – Review

Lily Rosen Marvin and Amy Zeng

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      CAT’s first show of the year, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” opened Friday, Nov. 4 to an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the audience. Highly comedic, the plot featured a play within a play that presented a series of outlandishly funny and over the top situations that the characters had to navigate through.The show is narrated by the Man in the Chair who puts on a record of his favorite Broadway show, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” As he listens, the events in the show unfold around him. The plot revolves around two lead characters who are getting married to each other, but the ulterior motives of the other characters, as well as funny circumstances, get in their way. The play was well-acted and well-produced, with only some minor mishaps on opening night. The many hours of hard work and dedication by all the cast and crew of CAT culminated in an outstanding show.

      Done in the over-the-top style of a 1920’s musical, the hilariously ridiculous plot and intentionally exaggerated acting kept the audience laughing. Perhaps the show’s best quality was its self-awareness. Whenever a character made a poor decision or the lyrics in a song seemed a little random, the Man in the Chair would point this out to the audience. His periodic “fourth wall” breaks grounded the musical and had the audience laughing throughout the performance. 

      While all of the choreography was well done, our personal favorite dance number was “Cold Feet,” the show’s only tap number. The performance was even more impressive with the knowledge that neither of the leads knew how to tap dance before the show. The choreography served as an effective continuation of the light-hearted tone of the musical, especially in numbers such as “Bride’s Lament” and “Accident Waiting to Happen.”

      Additionally, the costumes and set design were both incredible. Everything was made, bought or donated (shoutout to Tuxedo Fashions). Many of the actresses wore wigs, an appropriate nod to the “roaring twenties” time period of the musical. Some of the most impressive parts of the show were the quick costume changes by Hilary Oglesby, who played lead Janet Van Der Groff. The set was extremely versatile, allowing the play to efficiently transition between indoor and outdoor scenes.

      There were some slight setbacks on opening night, with a few missed stunts in the dance numbers or some scenes. However, they were decidedly minor and could easily have been missed as another comedic aspect of the play, so the overall appeal of The Drowsy Chaperone was certainly not lost.

      Overall, “The Drowsy Chaperone” showcases an exceptionally strong performance by CAT and will likely go down as one of its best comedic performances. For those who love Broadway shows, the singing, acting and dancing will have you captivated. On the other hand, those who are not fans of musicals will enjoy the sarcastic comments made by Man in Chair will keep you laughing throughout the performance. The last two performances will be on Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12. We promise that it’s a show you won’t want to miss.

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